We begin this selection with the remarkable return of Mamoru Hosoda to the cinema with Beautiful, his sixth animated film. The Japanese director offers us here his interpretation of the myth of Beauty and the Beast adapted around current social issues, within the framework of an online network like Metaverse. Mamoru Hosoda signs a poetic work, imbued with magic, but also with reflection on human relationships altered by technology. A film of gripping grace that takes us on a memorable journey.
The year 2023 will have been marked by the release of Demon Slayer: Infinity Train. The biggest Japanese film success of all time (it beat Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away after 73 days of operation), the sequel to the adventures of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inozuke has won us over with its animation at breathtaking, but also by its universe. The story told by the mangaka Koyoharu Gotōge is always so pleasant to follow, at the same time exotic and breathless. If the experience is worth seeing in a movie theater, you should know that the film is now available for streaming on Wakanim, while the rest is being broadcast on the same simulcast platform.
Frank Herbert’s cult literary work Dune was deemed unsuitable for cinema. It was before Denis Villeneuve tackled such a challenge. Dune lays the foundations of an immensely rich universe with a precision and a sense of detail so dear to the Canadian director. The film takes the time to develop its subject, and offers a breathtaking vision of Arrakis and the conflict between the Atreids and the Harkonnen. The success of this first film allowed the construction of a sequel. If Denis Villeneuve manages to adapt the entire first cycle of Dune (the first three novels) with as much rigor, the fans are more than ready.
Disney films are now theatrically released due to the advent of the Disney + platform and the health crisis. Among the works presented in cinemas this year, we will remember Encanto, the fantastic Madrigal family. The 60th Disney animated classic takes us into an enchanting tale in the heart of Colombian folklore. Directed by the team behind the very good Zootopia, Encanto, the fantastic Madrigal family seduces young and old, as is often the case with the firm with big ears.
The cinema still too often struggles to transpose the most popular video game universes without offending some of the fans. However, when the producers apply, some works stand out completely. This is the case of Free Guy. Carried by Ryan Reynolds, the film tells the story of an NPC who lives in a world that looks like GTA-Like until the day he realizes his nature. The idea behind the script is not really original, but it has the merit of being perfectly exploited and never disrespecting the video games from which the film is inspired. Free Guy is without a doubt one of the great surprises of this year.
Free City trailer
Postponed many times before finally finding a final release date at the end of the year, the last James Bond mission will have been desired. Daniel Craig’s final film in the skin of the most famous of the secret agents displayed disproportionate ambitions, for a more than satisfactory result. Admittedly a bit long, To die can wait Still offers the British actor a spectacular last-ditch with one of the most impressive James Bond films ever made, and one of the best of the Daniel Craig era after Casino Royale and Skyfall.
Here is another film which knew how to be desired. Kaamelott – First part was expected as the messiah by fans of the cult series of Alexandre Astier. More than ten years after the end of the televised saga, the return of King Arthur and his faithful knights has largely convinced us. From the first moments of the film, we rediscovered all the salt and magic of Kaamelott, his enchanting universe and his singular humor. It is a real pleasure to find all his characters who made the heyday of French television in the 2000s. As its name suggests, Kaamelott – First part begins a trilogy. We hope not to wait 10 more years to see the next installment.
The Eternals are among the new Marvel vigilantes introduced to the MCU this year. Supposed to explain why these millennial superheroes did not intervene during the war against Thanos, The Eternals features one of the most powerful teams in all of Comics. Marvel wishing to breathe new life into their films, the production was entrusted to Chloé Zhao. The Oscar-winning director for Nomadland, a follower of contemplative plans and wide open spaces, signs a film that is less personal, but which does not lack inspiration.
Matrix Resurrections is one of the last films of an already busy 2023 year. The return of one of the most famous cinematic sagas of all time was doubtful. However, it is clear that Matrix Resurrections is an excellent vintage. Without claiming to succeed in doing what the first Matrix did in 1999, Resurrections moved away from its predecessors to offer itself an identity of its own while managing to modernize the themes addressed in the previous films. If you liked the early films, you can go there with your eyes closed.
This year has definitely been a Marvel year, with four films released in theaters and five television series broadcast on Disney +. Among the films, we find the excellent surprise Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. The film introducing the eponymous hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe does a very good job. It unveils the little-known history of Shang-Chi and offers superbly choreographed martial arts fights. We can’t wait to see him in the next MCU films.
The most anticipated Marvel movie of the year is without a doubt Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even before its release, No Way Home has not ceased to be talked about with rumors all crazier than each other. Ultimately, Spidey’s latest MCU adventure is pure fan product, first-to-last minute fun. The return of the big bad guys from previous spider-man cinematographic works awakens in us a certain nostalgic impulse that we welcome with great pleasure.
In the face of Marvel, DC has been much more discreet this year. As the only representative of the universe of Batman and Superman, we find The Suicide Squad, the official sequel, and not the reboot, led by James Gunn. The director of Guardians of the Galaxy makes no concessions, and delivers a completely crazy film that takes vice to the extreme. Much more convincing than the first film starring the team of villains, The Suicide Squad is an irreverent comedy at will, an entertainment that could not be more enjoyable.